By Terez Howard

Hair growth measures out to 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch per month.  Your genes determine if you grow more or less hair in that amount of time.  However, food for hair growth can help natural hair to be healthy hair, and when you have healthy hair, your natural hair is in the best environment to grow its longest.

Food for hair growth includes green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, eggs and food rich in whole grain and folic acid.  When you eat food that promotes healthy hair growth, you are not only doing your natural hair a favor, but your entire body.

A proper, balanced diet will give your body what it needs to grow long hair.  This article is going to examine what foods are best to give you a healthy head of natural black hair.

1. Dark Green Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are high in Vitamins A and C, vitamins needed to produce sebum (the oil your scalp produces naturally).  These green leafy vegetables also are rich in calcium and iron.  Some dark green vegetables include broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens and turnip greens.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women ages 19 to 50 require 2 cups of vegetables per day.  Throw some green leafy vegetables on your menu every day to improve your hair health.

2. Beans

Beans are high in protein, making them a perfect food for hair growth.  Hair is essentially a dead protein.  A diet low in protein can slow the growing phase of the hair cycle.  On the other hand, a diet rich in protein can improve hair growth.  Beans also contain zinc, iron and biotin.  Brittle hair can be the result of a biotin deficiency.

In addition, legumes like lentils and chili beans are cheap.  So, you can grow long, healthy hair with low-cost food.

3. Eggs

Eggs are another food for hair growth high in protein, biotin and B-12.  We’ve already talked about protein and biotin in the section on beans.  A B-12 deficiency can cause hair loss.  So, whether you eat them scrambled, sunny-side up, poached or hard boiled, eat your eggs to help your hair grow.

4. Nuts

Cashews, almonds, pecans and walnuts all are excellent food for hair growth.  These nuts are rich in zinc, and a zinc deficiency can cause hair shedding.  Walnuts specifically contain an omega-3 fatty acid which might help to condition natural hair, thus giving you healthier hair.  Remember:

Healthy hair = strong hair = long hair

5. Whole Grain

What can whole grain foods do for hair growth?  Well, with whole grain, you get iron, zinc and B vitamins, all healthy vitamins and minerals for your hair.  You can find whole grain in bread, pasta and cereal.

What’s the difference between whole grain and refined grain?  According to the USDA, refined grains have been milled, meaning the bran and germ (ingredients that hold iron, fiber and B vitamins) have been removed to give these grains a finer texture and longer shelf life.  So, if you try to substitute white rice for brown rice, then you will be losing the vitamins your natural hair craves.

6. Foods Rich In  Folic Acid  

Folic acid carries oxygen to various parts of the body, including the hair.  The constancy in the supply of blood and oxygen in the scalp and hair provides nourishment for strong, healthy hair as well as maintains color and thickness.

Foods rich in folic acid include most of the food for hair growth already discussed, such as whole wheat bread and pasta, spinach, lentils and collards.  You can also find folic acid in orange, grapefruit and pineapple juice, asparagus and tortillas.

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